Stayers Hurdle Tips - 3:30pm Cheltenham

2020 Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle Preview

The home side wrestled back the Stayers Hurdle last season in the shape of Paisley Park, Willie Mullins had won it in 2017 and 2018 and it started toa look like yet another championship contest was going to be dominated by the Irish raiders.

Paisley Park was a relative new kid on the block but his improvement all through last season earned him a tilt at the big prize and he hasn’t looked back since.

In total he was unbeaten in five races and has now added another two this term; the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham. He won both in his usual workmanlike style, Paisley Park is not flashy and will never win on the bridle by 20 lengths, he’s just not that sort of horse.

When you look back the roll of honour of this race there are similarities to the way in which Paisley Park goes about his work, Inglis Drever won this race three times and Big Bucks four and both met flat spots in their races and then battled back and outstayed the opposition.

In the trial race here in January Paisley Park beat Summerville Boy by a length and a quarter and he looks a likely danger on what will be better ground than they faced that day.

Tom George’s 8yo won the Supreme Hurdle a couple of years ago and all look set for a glittering career. For one reason or another things didn’t click in his second season and the decision was made to go chasing at the start of this campaign. He won his first race in good style but then came down next time out at Sandown.

He was put back over hurdles for a confidence boost and won the Relkeel Hurdle here at Cheltenham. Plans were quickly redrawn and it was decided to put the chasing on hold and aim for this prize instead.

Warren Greatrex won this race in 2015 with Cole Harden and has found another young stayer in the shape of Emitom. The 6yo won a couple of weakish races last season and then ended the campaign with a fine second to Champ in the Sefton Hurdle at Aintree.

His reappearance effort was very disappointing when last of six behind Summerville Boy on New Years Day, his trainer has since took the blame for that and admitted he just wasnt fit enough to do himself justice. Next time out he put the record straight by winning the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock by an impressive eight lengths. He has time on his side and looks a very interesting syaer for the future.

Penhill has been lightly raced his win here in 2018, he was off the track for over 500 days after his championship winning season and three races this term have seen a steady improvement if not back to his best yet. He ran well to finish second to Cracking Smart at Navan last time showing he still has plenty of ability and it remains to be seen if the better ground and getting back to Cheltenham sparks him back to life but he will have his each way supporters.

Another Irish challenger with a squeak is City Island who won the Ballymore Hurdle here 12 months ago. His career hasnt really taken off as one might have thought but he comes here on the back of a decent effort at Punchestown last time out and has had a wind operation since that run. If that has helped then he could easily bounce back to his best here.

Of those at bigger odds both Lisnagar Oscar and L’Ami Serge could run well. Lisnagar Oscar came back to form when third in the Cleeve Hurdle at the trials meeting, he had been tried over fences but this looks his game for the time being.

L’Ami Serge is one of those horses that could run a huge race if he’s in the mood and everything drops right. He’s a 10yo now but finished second in the Long Walk Hurdle in December behind The Worlds End to show that he still has plenty of enthusiasm for the job. The Worlds End has since ran poorly behind Paisley Park here at Cheltenham and again at Haydock and maybe the ground was just too sticky for him and could return to some sort of form here.

Colin Tizzard saddles West Approach, he has been largley disappointing this season although he did win over fences here at Cheltenham back in November. Different tactics have been employed this year and holding him up until the last possible moment looks the way to go.

The gallant mare Apples Jade lines up in what could well be her swan song, its fair to say she hasnt been at her best for the majority of this season and a victory here would be a most welcome surprise for her many supporters. Its also interesting that Richard Johnson has been given the ride and starnger things have happened.

Punters Lounge Tip: Paisley Park 10/11 at Paddy Power - Click Here To Bet
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